Police release 81-page report detailing Las Vegas shooting massacre

The room of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where Stephen Paddock shot at attendees of a music festival, killing 58, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

ST. GEORGE — Authorities released an 81-page report Friday containing never-before-seen photos and details about the continuing investigation into the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting massacre that killed 58 people and wounded 851 others when Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

See all photos at the bottom of this report

At a news conference Friday, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said he was confident that 64-year-old Paddock was the only gunman, but that there is another person who is likely to be charged in the next two months in a case that spun off from the shooting investigation.

The sitting area of room 32-135, where most of the shooting activity is believed to have taken place., Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Lombardo said he did not expect criminal charges to be filed against Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who had been named as the only person of interest in the case.

He also said Friday the motive for the attack was still unknown and that Paddock did not leave a suicide note or manifesto before he was found dead in his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

While it is not standard practice for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to issue an investigative overview in an open case, due to the magnitude of the investigative response and the number of victims, Lombardo said he felt it was important to author an overview of all investigative work accomplished in the aftermath of the shooting.

“I am going against normal protocols,” the sheriff said, adding that he hoped the preliminary report would “quell the zest for information.”

The report offers extensive details about Paddock’s actions and planning in the time leading up to the attack.

Every facet of Paddock’s life explored

From 1982 through September 2016, Paddock purchased 29 firearms, consisting of handguns, shotguns and one rifle, the report states. Over the course of the last year, Paddock’s firearms purchasing increased and Danley said she believed it was a hobby of his.

View from the sitting area looking towards the kitchenette area, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

From October 2016 through September 2017, Paddock purchased more than 55 firearms, mostly consisting of rifles in various calibers, along with more than 100 firearm-related items, including scopes, cases, bump stocks and ammunition, through numerous retailers.

With the exception of a revolver, every firearm recovered in Paddock’s Mandalay Bay suite had been bought after September 2016, according to the report. More than a dozen of the rifles were fitted with “bump stock” devices that allowed rapid-fire shooting similar to fully automatic weapons.

Paddock, who had no criminal history, owned residences in Mesquite and Reno, Nevada, where he lived with his girlfriend.

Weeks before the shooting, the couple stayed at Mandalay Bay in room 60-235, and Danley told investigators Paddock was “acting strangely.” She said she remembered him constantly looking out the windows overlooking the Las Vegas Village venue. He moved from window to window looking at the site from different angles, according to the report.

Germophobe

Danley told investigators that during the year before the shooting, Paddock’s demeanor changed, he had become “distant” and their relationship was no longer intimate. She described him as germophobic and said he had strong reactions to smells.

Paddock, who worked as an accountant and in the family real estate business, had told friends and relatives that he always felt ill, in pain or fatigued.

His doctor described him as “odd” in behavior with “little emotion” shown and thought he may have had bipolar disorder but told police that Paddock refused to discuss the possibility, the report states. He also refused antidepressant medication but accepted prescriptions for anxiety. Paddock seemed fearful of medication and often refused to take it, the doctor told investigators.

Most of the people interviewed acknowledged Paddock’s gambling habits, authorities said. Paddock was known to gamble tens of thousands of dollars at a time and played at numerous casinos. He was often given complimentary rooms and meals at the casinos he frequented due to the amount of money he gambled.

Relatives and acquaintances of Paddock told investigators Paddock lived a seemingly normal life, but had lost a “significant amount of wealth” since September 2015, which led to “bouts of depression,” according to the report. Paddock had paid off his gambling debts before the shooting.

Mass shooting preparation

Paddock appeared to begin thinking about a mass shooting last May, searching on Google for “summer concerts 2017” and “biggest open air concert venues in USA,” as well as other potential public targets in Chicago, Boston and Santa Monica, California, the report states.

Handwritten note with distance/bullet drop calculations, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

In early September, Paddock searched for “Las Vegas high rise condos rent” and “life is beautiful expected attendance,” a reference to another large outdoor concert in Las Vegas that month. Two weeks later, he researched “swat weapons,” “ballistics chart 308,” “SWAT Las Vegas,” and “do police use explosives.”

Four laptops and three cellphones were found inside his hotel suite. On one of the computers, investigators found hundreds of photos of child pornography, along with internet searches for the height of the Mandalay Bay, how to remove hard drives from laptops, the location of gun shows in Nevada and information about several other Las Vegas casinos.

On Sept. 17, 2017, Paddock checked into The Ogden condominium complex where he was booked through Sept. 28, overlapping his reservation at Mandalay Bay. Paddock stayed in three different units during his stay, which coincided with the Life is Beautiful music festival.

Paddock requested rooms that overlooked the downtown outdoor venue. In video surveillance, Paddock could be seen taking several suitcases from his vehicle to his rooms, but investigators “have been unable to determine if Paddock intended an attack during this festival or if he used it as a means to plan a future attack,” the report states.

In the days before the attack, Paddock sent Danley, who was in the Philippines, a $100,000 wire transfer. She said she thought he might have been breaking up with her when he sent her the money and told her to use it to buy a home for her family there.

Mandalay Bay suite 32-135

On his first night at the hotel, Paddock had dinner at a sushi restaurant inside the hotel and returned to the front desk with five suitcases. At approximately 11 p.m., Paddock arrived back at his home in Mesquite.

The next day, while still in Mesquite, Paddock transferred $50,000 to an account in the Philippines. By 9 p.m., he was back in Las Vegas. He took seven more suitcases up to his room with the bellman and gambled through the night.

The hallway outside room 32-135 where a room service food cart can be seen, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

On Sept. 27, Paddock arrived back in Mesquite at 10 p.m. He arrived at the Mesquite Walmart at 11 p.m. and purchased luggage, razor blades, fake flowers, a vase and a Styrofoam ball.

The next day, he purchased a .308 bolt-action rifle in Mesquite, deposited $14,000 into a Wells Fargo account and transferred $50,000 to an account in the Philippines. He stopped at a gun range before going back to Las Vegas. He returned to the Mandalay Bay with two suitcases and gambled through the night again.

On Sept. 29, Paddock checked into the connecting room, 32-134, under Danley’s name.

Paddock traveled to Mesquite twice from Mandalay Bay on Sept. 30. He placed “Do Not Disturb” signs on both 32-135 and 32-134 before bringing four more suitcases to his room just before 6 a.m. and two additional suitcases at 3:20 p.m.

On Oct. 1, Paddock left Mesquite at 2:06 a.m. He arrived at the Mandalay Bay where he gambled before taking two additional suitcases to his room.

The shooting

Oct. 1, 2017, was the final day of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival held at the Las Vegas Village, an open-air concert venue, approximately 15 acres in size and bordered by Las Vegas Boulevard to the west, Reno Avenue to the north, Giles Street to the east and Mandalay Bay Road to the south.

Small sledge hammer, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

More than 22,000 people were attending the final day of the festival.

At approximately 10 p.m. that night, an unarmed hotel security guard named Jesus Campos arrived on the 32nd floor to respond to an alarm set off by an open door to another room. He attempted to enter the hallway to the floor via the stairwell, but the door wouldn’t open.

Campos took the stairs to the 33rd floor and used the guest elevator to access the 32nd floor. Once on the 32nd floor, Campos entered the foyer leading to the stairwell and discovered an “L” bracket screwed into the door preventing it from opening.

The security officer called his dispatch center with the house phone in the foyer to report the discovery.

After he hung up the phone, Campos heard what he described as a loud rapid drilling sound coming from room 32-135. As he walked down the hallway, he heard what he described as automatic gunfire coming from the same area and realized he had been shot in the left calf.

Desk in master bedroom of 32-135 with SCUBA mask and power hand drill, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

He took cover in the alcove of rooms 32-122 and 32-124 and utilized both his cellphone and radio to notify his dispatch he had been shot with a BB or pellet gun. While waiting for other security personnel to arrive, Campos continued to hear gunfire coming from the room. Paddock fired about 200 shots through his hotel room door into the hallway, the report states.

Officers and concertgoers initially believed the gunfire to be fireworks. As Paddock targeted the concertgoers with gunfire, officers quickly determined they were dealing with an active shooter. From approximately 10:05 p.m. to 10:16 p.m., Paddock committed a mass shooting, firing more than 1,100 bullets that left 58 people dead and more than 800 people injured.

Officers formed multiple strike teams and entered the Mandalay Bay from various entrance points. As a team of officers reached the 32nd floor via the stairwell, they didn’t hear gunfire coming from room 32-135. Officers were able to manually breach the “L” bracket on the stairwell door and gain access to the hallway where they observed a food service cart with wires running from it to room 32-134.

The bedroom in the connecting suite, room 32-134, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2017 | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

At approximately 10:18 p.m., the heat detection indicator from inside room 32-135 detected no further readings from inside of the room.

Authorities began evacuating hotel guests on the 32nd floor. Officers discovered a small infant alone in one of the rooms. As evacuations continued, the nanny for the infant was located in a room across the hall and reunited with the child.

At 11:20 p.m., no gunfire had been heard from Paddock’s room for approximately 40 minutes and authorities used an explosive breach to make entry into room 32-135. Inside the room, they observed a rifle with a scope and bipod on the floor just inside the door.

Police found Paddock lying on his back on the floor in the sitting area with casings on the floor surrounding him. He was wearing black pants, a long sleeve brown shirt, black gloves and gray shoes. A small frame “Smith & Wesson” revolver was on the ground above Paddock’s head. There was apparent blood surrounding his nose and mouth and a pool of blood had formed around Paddock’s head. Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A rifle was on the floor under his legs. A gray box cutter and a small sledge hammer was on the floor near his feet. The large window at Paddock’s feet was broken out and the curtain was blowing into the room.

Resources

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

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4 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor January 21, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Without reading the whole interim report, the details shared above are consistent with prior releases of information, and connecting of dots.
    We may never find out why he committed this catastrophe, so there may not be any takeaways……
    Let’s hope that future outdoor gatherings are held after law enforcement has assessed the venue and determined it safe.

  • Foxyheart January 21, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    I have never seen the door that he supposedly shot about 200 rounds through……Also he had this computer set up to watch the hallway. Is this the one they say the hard drive was missing from? Things just do not add up for me. I saw the amateur videos of shots from lower windows, but if not shots what were they as they were in sync with the sounds?

    • Law24 January 21, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Look at the actual report published by LVMPD that is linked on the bottom of the article. The referenced door is pictured on page 69 of the report.

    • comments January 22, 2018 at 1:25 am

      if it comes out later on that this guy worked for the CIA or similar i’m just gonna have to roll my eyes. this is exactly the type of thing they’d cook up. but it coulda been a lone gun nutter too. i felt bad for the victims, but i find myself desensatized to this sort of stuff after all those 1st graders got blasted up in 2012. we live in a very violent society. peoples capacity to do this sort of thing lurks right under the surface. its mostly an illusion that society is civilized

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